QRIScloud: making a big impact on climate change research

QRIScloud’s fast and accessible data storage is making a positive difference to a global climate change research project involving Queensland’s James Cook University.
The Wallace Initiative, named after ecologist Alfred Russell Wallace, is investigating which areas, species and crops are likely to be the most and least affected by climate change in the future.
The project involves researchers from JCU, Sydney’s Macquarie University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at England’s University of East Anglia.
Associate Professor Jeremy VanDerWal has taken advantage of the 1.3 petabytes of QRIScloud storage recently allocated to JCU’s Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change.
Dr VanDerWal says, “The Wallace Initiative started six years ago but for the first version, we were limited by storage capacity. With QRIScloud we can now do the research as we want to do it.”

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How much QRIScloud are you using?

Users and members can now find out directly from the QRIScloud portal how much QRISdata and QRIScompute they are using. The reports are available through links on the dashboard under the “Account” button in the “Reports” section.  
Individual reports show allocation owners their usage of QRIScloud services, cumulative year-to-date as well as month-over-month comparisons.
Member nominees will see monthly aggregated data for QRIScompute and QRISdata usage by all their staff as well as month-over-month comparisons of usage across all members.
We will continue to refine the content and detail of the available reports based on your feedback (email

Wilfred appointed to key NeCTAR role Wilfred Brimblecombe

Wilfred Brimblecombe, QCIF  Project Manager, is joining NeCTAR as its new Research Cloud Operations Manager.
Wilfred (pictured) is taking up this full-time role from 17 November, based at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia Campus.
Wilfred's new role broadly involves managing and pursuing NeCTAR Research Cloud federation operational and development objectives and goals. 
At QCIF, Wilfred has been managing a project to enhance user support for NeCTAR services. His main focus this year has been the selection and deployment of a SaaS (Software as a Service) help desk system for the NeCTAR Research Cloud Distributed Help Desk (DHD). The service was launched successfully and has been in daily use by the NeCTAR DHD, NeCTAR virtual laboratories (VLs) and end users.
Wilfred says: “It is pleasing to see that several VLs  (Alveo, BCCVL, GVL) are participating in the Help Desk, giving users a joined up service across NeCTAR services.”
Congratulations to Wilfred and great news for NeCTAR operations and service delivery.

Rowland wins QCIF door prize at eResearch Australasia 2015 

QCIF CEO Rob Cook and prize winner Rowland Mosbergen
Congratulations to Rowland Mosbergen from The University of Queensland who won the QCIF exhibition booth door prize of an iPad Mini at eResearch Australasia 2015 in Brisbane, 19–23 October. Rowland is pictured above (right) receiving his prize from QCIF CEO Rob Cook. 

A fitting winner as Rowland is a developer at UQ's Stemformatics organisation, which had the first data collection stored on QRIScloud (we swear the competition wasn't rigged!)

It was great to catch up with the national and international eResearch community at the QCIF booth throughout the conference. 

QCIF had a double exhibition booth, representing both the QCIF Brisbane and Townsville nodes, and used it to showcase members, QRIScloud and other eResearch services. 

QCIF and its members held informal presentations at the booth during break-times, including Q&As about QRIScloud, ReDBox, new data-intensive high performance computer FlashLite, and the BCCVL (Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory). 

A number of QCIF staff presented at the conference. 

Stephen Bird demonstrating QRIScloud at eRes2015
QRIScloud's Stephen Bird using the QCIF booth's touch screen table to help demonstrate the QRIScloud portal's services.

Hamish Holewa and Sarah Richmond at the start of their @BCCVL demo at the QCIF booth at eResearch Australasia 2015.
Hamish Holewa and Sarah Richmond at the start of their BCCVL demonstration at the QCIF booth.

PainPal app wins HealthHack Brisbane 2015

Team PainPal
Team PainPal (pictured above) won this year's HealthHack Brisbane, held in late October, with their holistic pain management app involving diagnostic, management and information components.

The team—including data hackers from Halfbrick Studios, the Brisbane video game company that created Fruit Ninja—took on the challenge from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). The resulting app aims to bring patients and their families, researchers and clinicians together to address problems.

The QCIF co-sponsored event is a data hack weekend dedicated to solving medical research problems. This year saw a full house of more than 80 participants, with QCIF staff Dr Nick Hamilton and Belinda Weaver helping as mentors.

The judges were Colin McCririck, Queensland Health's Chief Technology Officer; Dr Ginny Barbour, Executive Officer, Australasian Open Access Support Group; and Dr Maggie Hardy, a UQ post-doctoral research fellow at IMB.

Former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Peter Andrews (pictured below, standing) opened HealthHack Brisbane on Friday, 23 October. 
Former Queensland Chief Scientist Prof Peter Andrews opening HealthHack Brisbane

HealthHack Brisbane 2015
Teams at HealthHack Brisbane working on problem iteration and building. (All photos by Dr Nick Hamilton).

QCIF is seeking a Cloud Systems Engineer

QCIF is in the market for a Graduate Cloud Systems Engineer.
The appointee will undertake routine operations and development tasks for the QRIScloud infrastructure platform including compute, storage and other underpinning monitoring, access management and security systems for QRIScloud. 
This is a full-time, HEW4 level role, based in QCIF's Brisbane office at The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, More information

Applications (CV and cover letter) close on 20 November 2015, with the position commencing ASAP. Please send applications to:

Register for online Software Carpentry instructor training 

Dr Aleksandra Pawlik from the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute is coming to Brisbane in January 2016 to deliver Software Carpentry instructor training.
The event is already booked out and will run across 18–19 January, at UQ’s St Lucia Campus. 

For those who missed out, online instructor training will be available in December 2015. Register your interest via the Software Carpentry website.
QCIF eResearch Analyst Team Leader Belinda Weaver is organising the January training with help from the local Software Carpentry team.
The two-day training will be practical, with a focus on how people learn. Attendees are coming from Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville. The workshop should mint 20 new instructors.
In other research training news, an informal fortnightly Hacky Hour has started at St Lucy café on UQ’s St Lucia Campus. The next Hacky Hour is Tuesday, 17 November, 4–5pm. All are welcome to attend.

Griffith University runs a weekly Hacky Hour on Thursdays, 3–4pm.

Hacky Hour at UQ
Hacky Hour at UQ on 3 November 2015.  

QCIF eResearch Analyst profile:
Cihan Altinay, UQ

Dr Cihan AltinayCihan Altinay is a QCIF eResearch Analyst and Scientific Programmer at the Centre for Geoscience Computing, The University of Queensland. He is also an eResearch Analyst and Geocomputing Specialist for UQ’s Research Computing Centre.
Being the systems administrator for a centre-owned high performance computing (HPC) cluster, he is an expert in the development, installation, and maintenance of software for HPC systems and providing customer support.
Cihan is currently:
  • running benchmarks on the new data-intensive HPC cluster FlashLite to identify the optimal use of the resources and the special software environment.
  • handling the allocation and providing user support for the special nodes within QRIScloud—four large memory nodes and four GPUs. FlashLite and the special nodes are available to Australian researchers via QCIF's QRIScloud portal.
  • developing and maintaining a PDE (Partial Differential Equation) solver and geophysical inversion tool—parallelised using MPI, OpenMP and CUDA—in his Centre for Geoscience Computing role.
  • collaborating with geophysicists at the University of Western Australia and Geoscience Australia in the field of geophysical inversion. He is responsible for parallel software development and running very large HPC simulations on the Pawsey Centre's Magnus cluster, as well as NCI's Raijin cluster. The findings have recently been published in two journal papers.
 He holds a Computer Science degree from Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany.

QRIScloud is funded by the Australian Government, the Queensland State Government and the QCIF member universities. The Australian Government directs funds through the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Project (led by The University of Melbourne), and the Research Data Storage Infrastructure Project, completed in 2015, and the Research Data Services (RDS) Project (both data projects led by The University of Queensland) using the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and Education Investment Fund (EIF). The Queensland Government directs funds through the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) and its Co-investment Fund.



      RDS logo
November 2015


Upcoming Events

* 17 NovemberHackyHour St Lucia, occurs fortnightly on Tuesdays, 4–5pm, St Lucy cafe, UQ, St Lucia

* 9–10 DecemberSoftware Carpentry bootcamp, Translational Research Institute (for TRI and Diamantina Institute staff only), Brisbane

* December (date TBC), Software Carpentry Instructor Training, online

* 18–19 January 2016, Software Carpentry Train the Trainer, UQ, St Lucia (FULL).

Research Data: The Library's role

Featured podcast

Research data spring: project update—giving researchers credit for their data: A podcast series involving research data spring teams who are developing tools, software and service solutions to support research data management. Listen

Featured Collection

Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory: The BCCVL is a “one stop modelling shop” that simplifies the process of biodiversity-climate change modelling. Its mission is to connect the research community to Australia’s national computational infrastructure by integrating a suite of tools in a coherent online environment where researchers can access data and perform data analysis and modelling. More

BCCVL logo

Milestones and Metrics

QRIScloud Townsville is now storing more than 1 PB of data. 

QRIScloud is now storing 180 data collections.

First RDSI data collection provisioned in Mediaflux.
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